Washington Slagbaai National Park

Families can explore the Washington-Slagbaai Park on foot, by car or by bicycle. (Photo: Getty Images)


5 Reasons to Visit Bonaire on Your Next Family Vacation

Blessed with incomparable landscapes, crystal clear waters and heavenly white sand beaches, the island of Bonaire is an ideal destination to enjoy with the whole family. It’s a natural paradise for pink flamingos, iguanas, tropical fish and sea turtles, as well as an oasis for coral reefs that surround the island.

Whether through aquatic activities, excursions to the interior of the island or through routes via its internal cave system, Bonaire offers a wide variety of options to explore along with your family—and always in connection with nature.

A Mecca for Windsurfing and Kitesurfing

bonaire windsurfing
The island’s climate creates idyllic conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. (Photo: Getty Images)

The mild climate of the island, its warm, shallow waters and continuous winds create idyllic conditions for nautical adventure lovers to practice the two most popular sports on the island: windsurfing and kitesurfing. With winds routinely reaching between 12 and 18 knots, Bonaire has become a world-renowned destination for participants of these aquatic sports.

This being said, practice areas are separated for each of these sports. Thus, the best beach for windsurfing is located on the eastern part of the island, in Lac Bay. Meanwhile, kite-surfers will find their haven on the southwest tip of the island. Either way, not to worry if you aren’t an experienced surfer; there are kitesurfing and windsurfing schools on all the local beaches—places where visitors can take classes and lease the necessary equipment.

Day Trip to Washington-Slagbaai Park

This park is a natural sanctuary for endangered animals such as pink flamingos, parrots, parakeets and iguanas, as well as being the nesting center for all four Caribbean sea turtles species. Located in northwestern Bonaire, families can explore the Washington-Slagbaai Park on foot, by car or by bicycle.

All the guided tours will take visitors through the island’s natural virgin beaches. Tourists can stop at Slagbaai to swim in the crystalline waters or to dive and explore the hidden underwater treasures. If so inclined, they can even enjoy a light picnic on the beach. The entrance fee can vary between 25 and 45 dollars—depending on whether or not travelers want to include diving activities.

Sail Around the Island

Enjoy a boat trip to discover beautiful landscapes and Bonaire’s hidden treasures. Travelers will find countless boat rental offers around the island, as well as guided tours such as those organized by Aqua Fun Bonaire. Spend the day sailing and snorkeling or navigate to the neighboring Klein Bonaire Island and enjoy its idyllic beaches.

Additionally, with the help of local experts, visitors can rent a boat to practice fishing in designated areas. Or they can also partake in a guided tour to nearby beaches, including Lac Bay, and end the day dining as the sun sets.

Get to Know the Bonaire Caves

With more than 400 cavernous formations, the island of Bonaire offers a unique opportunity in terms of discovering new landscapes. Explore prehistoric stalactite and stalagmite formations, traverse subterranean formations that remain connected until reaching interior water wells and practice snorkeling with the help of underwater lanterns.

It’s recommended that all Bonaire cave visits should be in the company of expert guides, such as Outdoor Bonaire, a company that shows guests the most impressive caves—the ones where visitors can get the most out of the experience.

Go Diving at the Bonaire National Marine Park

Known as the oldest marine reserve in the world, the Bonaire National Marine Park is ideal for exploring different water activities with your children. Surrounded by a belt of coral reefs and offering more than 90 areas classified by the National Park—many of which are accessible from the beach—Bonaire boasts an unrivalled marine park.

Along with your family, dive or snorkel to explore the reefs, swim among tropical fish and discover shipwrecked treasures. To acquire the necessary equipment, visitors can find diving schools and expert guide tours on all the local beaches.